Biography of Jean Erichsen
Jean Nelson Erichsen, MA, Human Development, LBSW
(licensed social worker)
Jean is known for her compassion for overlooked children and her creative approach to improving their lives. Her recent works include a June 2010 article in Adoption Today, her blogs on adoption and her memoir, My Portable Life. Her edited parent education course is online at the National Council for Adoption, titled, The Intercountry Adoption Journey. As a supplement, she compiled Special Needs Children, Exceptional Parents: Their Personal Stories. Jean has written nine books, including the original How to Adopt books, which sold by the thousands. Jean wrote chapters for The Adoption Encyclopedia by William Pierce, Ph.D. and for The Adoption Option Annual, by Christine Adamec. In her former position as supervisor of social work at LNI, Jean created the agency’s literature and edited their magazine, News of Los Ninos, and produced several training and fund-raising videos. Listen to her lyrics in the adoption song, "Butterflies"
Los Niños International Adoption Center was founded by Jean Nelson Erichsen and her husband, Heino R. Erichsen in 1981. They provided needed domestic adoption services to the Hispanic community. Around the same time, they traveled to develop intercountry adoptions in Latin America: Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, and Peru. Later they established adoptions in Europe: Bulgaria, Romania and Russia, and followed up in Asia with China and Vietnam. For over three decades, the Erichsens guided thousands of pre- and post-adoptive parents through successful cross-cultural, transracial, domestic, and international adoptions. Over three thousand children were placed in stable, loving homes.
Jean is considered an expert in the field of international adoption and has been interviewed for national and local television broadcasts by ABC, CBS and NBC, Cable News Network (CNN), Univision and WorldNet (U.S. Information Service) as well as television and radio talk shows, newspapers and magazines. The Erichsens or their agency, Los Niños International Adoption Center, were mentioned in Cosmopolitan, MS, Newsweek, Time, McCalls, Family Journal, Woman's Day, Woman's World, The World and I, Hispanic Magazine, Third Coast , Aspire, Our Kids, Parent’s Magazine, (Spanish edition) and t´ú do (Vietnamese) magazine; Adoptive Families of America, and Adoption Today. We have been featured or mentioned in "Ann Landers Column", The Christian Science Monitor, The Houston Chronicle, The Houston Post, The Fort Worth Star Telegram, The Dallas Morning News, The Dallas Times Herald, The Times of the Americas, The Daily Texan, Green Bay Press Gazette, El Paso Times, The San Antonio Light, The Austin American-Statesman, The Villager newspapers and interviewed by Cox and Pacific News Service.
Jean has traveled far from her beloved little farming community of Sacred Heart, Minnesota, where she was born and called by her Norwegian name, Yena. In her desire to help children find the stable family she was denied, she changed course, earned a baccalaureate at Metropolitan State University, St. Paul, Minnesota, and a master’s degree in human development at St. Mary’s College, Winona, Minnesota in 1981. Jean is certified by the Texas Board of Social Work Examiners. She launched her freelance writing career in 1973. She contributed monthly adoption articles to OURS Magazine, and their booklet, My Journey Home from Colombia. Shortly after her first book, Gamines, How to Adopt From Latin America, 1981, was released; she freelanced for children’s publishers.